South Sudan army “shoots down” UN chopper
South Sudan’s army has shot down a UN helicopter killing all four crew on board, a United Nations spokesman says.
The helicopter was hit on a reconnaissance flight over a troubled part of the world’s newest country where the government has already tried to stop the UN and rights groups investigating allegations of massacres and other abuses.
Deputy UN spokesman Eduardo del Buey told reporters in New York the South Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) had admitted to the United Nations that it had hit the MI-8 helicopter.
The helicopter was in the Likuangole district of troubled Jonglei state in the east of South Sudan, which became independent in July last year after splitting from Sudan.
“Initial reports indicated the UN helicopter crashed and burned. The mission immediately launched a search and recovery mission. It has confirmed the death of all four crew members,” del Buey said.
The UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) initially said only that the helicopter had crashed.
“In subsequent communications between the mission and the South Sudanese armed forces, the SPLA told the mission that it had shot down the helicopter,” del Buey said.
No reasons for the incident were immediately given.
No South Sudanese government and military officials were immediately available for comment.
The helicopter was on a “reconnaissance flight” in Jonglei state when hit, the UN spokesman added.
that looks like a good reason to send in the troops..an open admission as well ..really have to keep an eye on africa and its countries..its a real scramble to get footholds by the big powers of the world..china and the UK/USA..